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Thread: Census and citizenship

  1. #1
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Census and citizenship

    Last evening I was at a dinner and someone bought up how despicable it was to ask people if they were citizens on the census. I asked why, and they bought up underrepresentation and large non citizen areas recieving less federal funding. I could not understand why representatives and electoral college vote should be higher due to non citizens. His solution was to speak louder, practically yelling at me like I was a moron.
    So can someone explain this without yelling at me why this question is bad. In my Geneology research this question has routinely been asked until very recently. It provides an excellent snapshot of a population. Why should a large non citizen population get more funding and more representation in our government?

    I am not anti immigration. I do not believe someone who sneaks in should be ahead of someone who legally files paperwork and patiently waits in line. With 65 million refugees waiting in camps, people who show up at the border seeking asylum, I think every country has a responsibility to help some of these unfortunate beings. But we cannot help everyone. Letís help as many as we can but do it legally and right. But my question is really about the census.

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I think your dinner companion's reaction is a little strange. It's data. In fact, it should be the first cut in a federal census: citizen or not? If there are implications with underrepresentation and people have a problem with that, then deal with that issue, but if you're going to count people, count them. It's just a number.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    There are a lot of services that use census data to determine needs/levels. This is what I saw on line:

    At national level census information is used to plan the provision of health care, education, employment, transport, etc. It is used to help determine where to build new schools, roads, health care facilities, child-care and senior centre.
    There are a lot of people who live her legally, who are not citizens, but pay property, payroll and income taxes. It comes down to philosophy I guess: do you think only citizens are entitled to parks and roads, even though non citizens contribute to their costs?

    This administration has been particularly cruel to illegals, but has also come down hard on people who ARE here legally (such as revoking protected status for people who came from area where there was a natural disaster as one example) and deporting people who for example, show up for green card interviews for fiancee status green cards or refusing passports for legal US citizens because their birth certificate /might/ have been a sham. Who in their right mind would want to answer non citizen on a census and have ICE or border patrol potentially show up for dinner unannounced?

    As a result, we will under count legal non citizens. This will have an impact on citizens too if facilities are under staffed due to these lower numbers. I personally don't see how it is helpful.

  4. #4
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    Agree that the dinner guest behaved badly.

    But the U.S. Constitution calls for counting every resident. Resident, not citizen. And in addition to the uses herbgeek already quoted, the census data is used for safety responses as well. In times of disaster we need to allocate resources and if people are undercounted/not counted then their lives could literally be at stake.

  5. #5
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    You guys raise good points. My brother works for the Census Bureau. I'm going to ask his opinion on this.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    I am glad that my polish DIL became a citizen. Before she had a green card. She wasnít a target anyways being white and not brown but you never know. In this climate you would be a fool to say anything but citizen.

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    I am glad that my polish DIL became a citizen. Before she had a green card. She wasn’t a target anyways being white and not brown but you never know. In this climate you would be a fool to say anything but citizen.
    Really? Lie?

    Okay then.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lainey View Post
    But the U.S. Constitution calls for counting every resident. Resident, not citizen.
    Sort of....

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

  9. #9
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    Or refuse to answer the door.

  10. #10
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    I am glad that my polish DIL became a citizen. Before she had a green card. She wasn’t a target anyways being white and not brown but you never know. In this climate you would be a fool to say anything but citizen.
    ive been thinking about this answer. If you lie about your citizenship,status and were found out, what would happen?
    why is it OK to lie about this on a government document but other lies are not OK?
    what if you sought asylum but were not really in danger but wanted economic opportunities?
    what if you lie to pay less taxes? I didn’t hear anyone say Manafort was fine when he lied. Except Trump maybe. What if you lied to get a loan? Telling a lie is very risky.

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